Today is the 10 year anniversary of Tina Fey’s high school comedy Mean Girls. It’s an essay in tribal mentality that reaches way beyond the playground. I recognise a lot of these characters in adult organisations and businesses. In the film there is a character called Gretchen Wieners (I know!) Gretchen is constantly trying to get her friends to engage in a new slang word ‘fetch!’ As in, “oh my God, that bag is totally fetch” or “those jeans are fetch, Regina.” (Those aren’t actual quotes from the film, but you get the idea.)
I spent today at the CIPD’s L&D Show, the re-branded HRD. I walked the exhibition. I listened to a number of speakers. I browsed a few pamphlets. I wasn’t impressed. What I saw saddened me. Is this my profession? Is this the community I’m a part of? Where is the fire? Where is the passion? I couldn’t see it. What I could see was the same faces peddling some of the same material and the same theories we’ve used for the last decade. No! For longer! And the thought that really scared me… I might be one of them!?
I spend a lot of my time feeding others. I try to feed my customers knowledge and insight and creativity. I feel duty bound and passionate about tearing through new material and then attempt, as best I can, to mould it into a cohesive story through a workshop or consulting. I want to give the customer something new (if new is needed) from someone that has inspired or engaged me. I want to pass it on.
I go to events like this one to be fed the new stuff! But I find that I’m hungry (although that may be a result of being on the 5-2 diet!)
When I come to a meeting hosted by the centre of the human resources profession in the UK I expect to hear cutting edge speakers, get insights from new thinking, see dynamic and energised products, engage with my peers in creative and innovative ways. I didn’t feel that today. I didn’t leave full, I left dull. I left with a little of my own shine wiped away… So, I decided what if I tried to make ‘festch’ happen. But what if ‘fetch’ was actually a hashtag that could identify a sharing of great new knowledge or inspirational material? I settled on #feedus
We need to be inspired. Inspired in learning, leadership, management, customer service, sales, technology, creativity, innovative approach… the list goes on. This is our community and it’s letting us down. We can’t see through the mire of pull-up banners and comic sans font. We’re all there looking, trying to do more with less money and less time. Who is going to bring out the energy and enthusiasm that bubbles within the L&D community. I know it still exists? I see it in the bloggers and the tweeters and the folks trying to push the waterfall uphill.
We need to be fed! We need to grow!
So whenever you see an insight, something new or forgotten that can help us grow and learn, why not add the hashtag #feedus to your tweet or post? I’m trying to make ‘fetch’ happen and Regina George is not going to stop me!